Thursday, May 27, 2010


Lunch at Joe's Farm Grill today -- absolutely fantastic, again, and now I've figured out how to order so we only get twice as much food as we need (it's unavoidable), as opposed to 3x.

Life is like a bag o' peaches? If only.

After lunch, went over to the Farm Stand and bought some peaches. They don't look like much, but they are absolutely incredible. The best peaches I've had in years, possibly ever.

But we didn't know about that until after dinner. To pay for the peaches, I needed some smaller bills -- it's honor system, and I owed $4 but all I had were 5s, 10s, and 20s. I went into the Coffee Shop directly across the courtyard, appreciating very much the gorgeous sky blue scooter perched in the first "scooter parking only" slot right by the door.

First thing, when you open the door, is the incredible coffee aroma, of course. It amazes me you can't buy a coffee-scented candle. It's one of the most delightful scents. I just wanted to stand there and inhale for a while, but the kids were waiting, so I went up to the counter to get some change -- and that's when I saw the cupcakes. Insanely beautiful cupcakes -- I knew we couldn't leave without trying them.

I got my change, paid for the peaches, and told the kids they had to see these cupcakes, and they could get one if they wanted. DS1 chose the coconut, which resembled a pink snowball only made with real coconut and some kind of edible sugar glitter; DD chose the "vanilla glam", a vanilla cupcake with gorgeous pink frosting and the same glitter; DS2 chose the "cookie dough", which tasted, amazingly, like cookie dough with some cream cheese/buttercream frosting, sprinkled with mini chocolate chips. These cupcakes had the unique property of tasting even better than they looked, and they looked fantastic. They had quite possibly the most delicious frosting I've ever tasted. I think it had marzipan in it.

We had leftovers from lunch for dinner.

amusing & not so amusing

Things heard at the gynecologists today:

"Well, your uterus is still gone."

"I'm not feeling anything, but I'm sending you for an ultrasound to make sure there's no mass there..."


"... your symptoms are the kind of thing that could be caused by a mass."

Undecided on the use of the euphemism.

Not looking forward to chugging 44 ounces of water tomorrow, either.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a list

* Relpax helped yesterday, but I suspect getting more than 5 hours of sleep helped more, today.

* Brain mri: not a bad experience at all. The longest pass was only 5 minutes, which is quite tolerable. Plus, there was a constant gentle flow of cool air through the machine so I didn't feel enclosed at all. If it weren't for the ticking, humming, and thumping, it would've been restful. About 30 minutes before the contrast, 3 passes afterward, about 45 minutes total. Results next Wednesday.

* First meeting today was very productive, planning a thyroid cancer panel at the Cancer Center at Chandler Regional Medical Center, Thursday, Sept 9, from 6-8pm.

* Got a 98% on the final I took yesterday, must wrap up my other class... kids last day is tomorrow, they will be done before I will, but I should be able to finish everything up on/before Friday.

* The checkout clerk at the grocery store called me "Miss".... something about the tank top + sundress I was wearing, or maybe she just wasn't paying attention? Or maybe she knows women my age get a kick out of it...

* Aren't cherries supposed to be good for arthritis? I'm eating way too many... they are irresistible.

Tomorrow, much to do, again -- another appointment, DS1's Golden Scholar presentation, last-day-of-school lunch at Joe's Farm Grill, trying to nail down that schoolwork...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

nothing ventured --

Trying the Relpax today. For the last 3 days the headache has wobbled at around a 2-3 on the 10-point pain scale, but today it ratcheted up -- I may have found my trigger: stress -- suffice it to say, extended family worries, pending exams, and a bit of fussing with the kids this morning are not a good combination, so at 9AM I took my first pill. Now, an hour and a half later, it does feel somewhat better, although not all gone.

I can take one more at 11AM, and probably will. I feel just a little like I'm wrapped in cotton wool, sort of muffled, but not sleepy or dizzy or nauseated or any of the other horrid side effects listed.

So far.

I question the wisdom of taking a final while experimenting with the new medication, but at this point I don't really feel as if I have much choice.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Headache (mid-March), rheumatoid arthritis (April 6), UTI/UTI-like symptoms (5/3)

Seems like longer for the UTI stuff, glad I checked the dates.

Friday, May 21, 2010

a long month

Continuing my impersonation of a healthy person, even while all this stupid health stuff continues in the background:

- I had a wonderful student teaching experience for my Adolescent Behavior class. Really, it could not have been better. It was a little crazy, since I took on a lot more responsibility than was required for the class, but my mentor teacher was very encouraging and I valued the opportunity to work with her and get the benefit of her experience for as long as was feasible. So a 20 hour requirement turned into nearly 4 weeks, and instead of 2 lessons I taught an entire (small) unit, and instead of teaching just 2 hours I taught 6 classes a day, 7 days of instruction. Loved it, loved confirming that yes, I can handle it physically. Kind of annoyed that it has taken me so long to get here, but at least I'm here.

In other news, the kids all passed their karate tests and have moved up to purple belts, and they totally aced their Arizona Study Program piano tests, with Superior grades on their performance exams and nearly flawless written theory test scores. DD and DS1 are both recognized at their schools as Golden Scholars, and DD's band concert was terrific. DS2 had a research project on Ferdinand Magellan, and DD had one on Betsy Ross which required a costume... which induced me to get out the sewing machine. Been a long time since I sewed from a pattern, but the little hat, scarf, and apron all came out great and she looked terrific.

On the medical front:
- came down with a UTI on my first day of actual teaching. Instructive, as this is something that's common for teachers. Schedules are very tight, and we don't get to go to the bathroom whenever we want or need to... which can lead to things like UTIs. Obviously I'm going to have to watch that. I actually went to the mini-clinic at CVS over the weekend while the van's tires were being rotated, but then I went back on Tuesday to my regular office for a follow-up, because I'm still feeling off and I'm having flank pain. I've had flank pain before, I've even had PT for flank pain before, but the exercises aren't helping. The PA assured me I don't have a kidney infection, but I'd feel a lot better if the flank pain and other symptoms just went away. The PA seemed sure it was muscle pain, but I haven't been doing anything that would stress those muscles, so I don't know. And even if teaching and being at school was messing me up (which it never did before when I was subbing), I've been home now since Tuesday and it's no better. It's probably just my fibromyalgia, acting up for no reason.

- the hip is a lot better, the bursitis is gone, the muscle/tendon thing is still there but seems to be getting better. I honestly don't know. It's a range of motion thing and I can certainly live with it. I'm just grateful that the bursitis has resolved.

- the RA is still kicking my butt on a daily basis. Hands are the worst. Arthrotec 75 2x/day is helping quite a bit, particularly with the gastroparesis, but I'm still having pain every day. I tried the pain meds (Ultram) one day and they did nothing, but I only took one and I suppose I should try two, as per the prescription. I didn't feel loopy when I took it but I did have a bought of dizziness the next morning -- unrelated? Don't know, but do know that dizziness is a known side effect. Also have Arava, which I'm not taking, for several reasons including I work in schools so being immuno-suppressed isn't the best idea, and that it takes about 3 months to start working, and when you stop taking it, it circulates in your systems for months or years afterwards. I'm not sure what the upside is supposed to be, but for now I'm holding off on it.

- The left eye-headache thing: saw the TMJ doc, and he thought it was muscle tension related and gave me trigger point injections in my neck. These did nothing (and apparently will cost me $358, as opposed to the $144 quoted at the office, but I don't have a bill in hand yet, so we'll see). He stressed my PT exercises which I am doing -- no effect. Dr. O, the ENT, ordered a sinus CT scan, it's completely clean, and then did a bunch of exams in the office, exhausting his expertise. He's thinking cranial nerve involvement, and referred me to a neurologist. Saw her this morning, she was very thorough, and, as expected, ordered the MRI. She thinks it's probably migraines even though they are not manifesting like typical migraines, but we need the MRI to rule out lesions. Exam and symptoms rule out a problem with the optic nerves, and the sinuses, inner ear, and muscle tension have all been ruled out also.

She gave me Relpax to try for the pain when it's bad, like now (about a 5) -- it never goes away completely, it will fade to a 2 (more like insistent pressure than actual pain, but I notice it). I can't figure out what makes it worse or better, which is annoying. If I knew what was causing it, I'd stop doing that!

DH started MediFast this week. He doesn't need to lose much weight at all, really, but he needs to change his relationship with food, and that's not something I can do for him. He'll be working with these folks for a year. I think it will help, and I'm doing what I can to support him. In the beginning things are rather stringent, so I made him a stir-fry last night of garlic, mushrooms, broccoli and spinach, which he really enjoyed.

I'm still slogging through my two classes -- not much left to do now but I asked for and got a 1 week extension. If I were feeling better I could have pushed and finished everything by tomorrow -- maybe. Far better to take the extra week and not stress so much about it.

DD and DS1 will be taking classes in June, math for DD and Latin 1 for DS1 -- it's only Monday - Thursday from 8-12, and it will give them something to do, so I'm not terribly traumatized by it. DD is a bit annoyed, but she'll survive. DS1 seems not to care at all, although he is excited about starting Chandler Prep in August.

By the time vacation gets here, we will have well and truly earned it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

over to the Dark Side

Migrating to a new platform is going to take a while, and it seems as if the first step to do that would be converting my ftp-published blog to a Blogger-published blog anyways, so here I am.

How odd. We'll see how it goes.